Quite often, as a new relationship is developing, how we speak to each other is something done with care. Often rehearsed in our minds so as not to come over as ‘pushy’, ‘subservient’, ‘stubborn’ etc. conversation does not always flow as easily as one or other would like. As the familiarity starts to set in, less care is taken when speaking and folk begin to ‘be themselves’. This is okay if ‘you’ is reasonable, compassionate, tolerant and patient… but if not… it can come over as ‘changing’. The comment… ‘s/he changed’ often can be heard when folks get to the point of familiarity. People ‘change’ only when they make a concerted effort to look at themselves and make adjustments to the way they handle situations, or when they look in the mirror and don’t like what they see. Other than that, people just reveal themselves steadily as their relationship develops and their comfort level increases. Not always for the better.
What you took as quiet and reserved and was happy, might actually be the person being observant. You can’t hear while your mouth is in gear. What you saw as lively and outgoing, could easily have been the person trying to fill lonely moments, they might actually prefer being in doors and what you took as consideration and respect, might actually have been ‘giving unto Caesar’ or ‘kissing ass’. It’s not always that a person has ‘changed’ but more often, ones perception of that person and their behavior, changes or one becomes more aware of the little things, overlooked initially.
As much as we strive to ‘start off as we mean to go on’ in reality, we want to make a good impression. Allow the person to see how ‘great’ we are as an individual, how beneficial it would be for them to have you in their life. BEING REAL is often quoted. When you go for an interview, you don’t turn up in denims and sneakers, you ‘put your best foot forward’… if there is no dress code at work, chances are you won’t be turning up for work dressed the way you did on interview day. The prospective employer knows that… s/he doesn’t expect it. What they do expect is ACTION… in as much as what you say is important, it’s more important how you say it and whether you can back it up or not.
In relationships we get so caught up with the interview process, we get disappointed when the other person settles down into the role and no longer tries to impress. This is the time when ‘actions speak louder than words’ and we’ listen with our hearts’. How a relationship progresses through this stage is ultimately down to consideration of each other.
It’s okay not to dress impeccably ALL the time. It’s not okay, to not make an effort when going out with your partner. It’s okay not to bring a gift every time you see each other. It’s not okay to ignore your partner. It’s okay not to go to every game, recital, book signing… with your partner, but it’s not okay to not pay attention when they talk about the things they enjoy or worse… to ridicule it.
We should expect changes to occur, not overnight mutations, but a gradual blending of thoughts and aspirations that emerge when two people are on the same path.